Local and State News

10:26am

Mon February 3, 2014
Local and State News

Lawsuit Against NM Seeks Marijuana License

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe man is suing New Mexico health officials to address what he says is a severe medical marijuana shortage.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Mark Springer filed a lawsuit late last week against the state Department of Health.

In the suit, Springer, who owns Medical Marijuana Inc., requests that the department reopen the application period for eligible marijuana growers and permit them to grow more of the plant.

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10:23am

Fri January 31, 2014
Local and State News

Drought Worsens in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Extreme drought is expanding its reach across northeastern New Mexico, while the state's largest city approaches 40 days without any snow or rain.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque say there's no precipitation in the forecast for the Albuquerque area through tomorrow. It marks one of the longest winter dry spells in nearly a century.

Roswell has also been without moisture for more than a month.

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10:22am

Fri January 31, 2014
Local and State News

Man Convicted in Stabbing Death of Calif. Friend

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A jury in Albuquerque has convicted a 24-year-old man in a driver's license fraud case involving immigrants from Asia but only of four of the dozens of counts he faced.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Gordon Leong was convicted Wednesday of two counts of forgery and one each of conspiracy and perjury, all stemming from an application for one individual.

The jury acquitted him of an additional 70 counts of various crimes, including racketeering, and defense attorney Erlinda Johnson expressed satisfaction with the verdict.

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10:21am

Fri January 31, 2014
Local and State News

5th Person To Die from Influenza Reported in NM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Another flu death is being reported in New Mexico.

The state Department of Health says a 69-year-old woman from Bernalillo County has become the fifth person to die from influenza so far this flu season.

All of the victims have been between the ages of 45 and 79.

Meanwhile, health officials say the number of people seeing their doctor for influenza-like illnesses has decreased over the past three weeks.

The predominant circulating flu strain in New Mexico and the United States is influenza H1N1.

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10:20am

Fri January 31, 2014
Local and State News

Farmington Woman Accused of Fraud and Forgery

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A Farmington woman who works as a bookkeeper for two small businesses is accused of fraud and forgery.

San Juan County Sheriff's officials say 65-year-old Mary Hawkins is being held on 40 felony counts.

They say she allegedly wrote more than 220 fraudulent checks and embezzled more than $344,000 from the businesses over a 2 ½-year span beginning around July 2011.

The two businesses are owner by the same person.

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10:19am

Fri January 31, 2014
Local and State News

Woman Arrested in Chase That Injured NM Policeman

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — A woman is in custody in connection with a high-speed chase that seriously injured a Corrales police officer.

Authorities say 21-year-old Casey Williams is being held on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and possessing stolen property.

She was arrested Wednesday night, eight days after a 100-mile-per-hour pursuit in a stolen car.

Corrales police officer Jeremy Romero was injured when his car flipped over during the pursuit.

Authorities say he's recovering but will need more surgeries.

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8:57am

Wed January 29, 2014
Local and State News

HSI To Train NM Police on Human Trafficking Fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Homeland Security Investigations is launching a new initiative aimed at training law enforcement agencies in New Mexico to tackle interstate human trafficking.

HSI announced yesterday that the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division will help develop a training program on how New Mexico officers can spot human trafficking victims.

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8:56am

Wed January 29, 2014
Local and State News

Inmates' Lawyers Oppose Trial on NM County Jail

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County is getting pushback on its call for a trial on a lawsuit that contends conditions in the county jail violate inmates' constitutional rights.

The lawsuit was filed in 1995, and the county recently asked the federal judge presiding over the case to have a trial to decide whether jail conditions are unconstitutional.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that lawyers representing jail inmates are asking U.S. District Judge James A. Parker to deny the county's request.

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8:55am

Wed January 29, 2014
Local and State News

Chaparral Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Otero County authorities have arrested a Chaparral man on numerous animal cruelty charges.

The 156 counts against 44-year-old Felix Moriel stem from an investigation into malnourished, dead and injured dogs found at an animal sanctuary last September.

According to the Alamogordo Daily News, court records indicate that sheriff's deputies found piles of dog feces, dead puppies in a freezer, malnourished and injured dogs and at least 12 dead dogs in various stages of decomposition.

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8:54am

Wed January 29, 2014
Local and State News

NM Jobless Rate at 6.4 Percent, Unchanged in Dec.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's unemployment rate remained unchanged last month at 6.4 percent.

The state Workforce Solutions Department said yesterday the unemployment rate in December was down from 6.6 percent a year ago.

The state agency says jobs have grown by 0.4 percent, a gain of 3,000 over the year.

The largest employment gains were reported in the financial activities industry, which added 3,100 jobs since December 2012.

Employment gains in retail trade rose to 1,900 jobs, its highest over-the-year increase since 2008.

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8:53am

Wed January 29, 2014
Local and State News

NM Senate Panel OKs Texting Ban for Drivers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to ban texting while driving has cleared an initial hurdle in the Legislature.

The Senate Public Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed the proposal yesterday to prohibit drivers from sending or reading a text message and email or making an Internet search from a cell phone or other handheld communications device. There would be a $25 fine for a first violation and $50 for subsequent violations.

Democratic Sen. Peter Wirth of Santa Fe said texting distracts a driver and increases the chances of a traffic accident.

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10:36am

Tue January 28, 2014
Local and State News

NM Man Convicted in 2006 Accident Charged Again

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Belen man convicted in a 2006 fatal accident involving drunken driving has been arrested in Valencia County in another fatal accident.

Authorities say 27-year-old Jacob Williams is jailed in lieu of $20,000 bond on charges of vehicular homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

The Associated Press reports that the Saturday accident instantly killed 51-year-old Daniel Sanchez and critically injured his 11-year-old daughter. They were thrown from a motorcycle into a roadside field.

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10:35am

Tue January 28, 2014
Local and State News

Gallup Hospital To Close Behavior Health Program

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A financially troubled hospital in Gallup says its retrenching will include closing its behavior health program.

The Gallup Independent reports that the move by Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services means the hospital will no longer offer its 28-day alcohol detox service.

CEO Barry Mousa says the program has been losing money for years and that other agencies now have similar services.

Mousa estimates that between 15 and 20 employees will be laid off when the program shuts down at the end of February.

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10:34am

Tue January 28, 2014
Local and State News

Texas To Proceed with Water Lawsuit Against NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says Texas can proceed with its lawsuit against New Mexico over management of the Rio Grande.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he's looking forward to telling New Mexico's side of the story. The court has given the state 60 days to file a motion to dismiss the case.

Texas accuses New Mexico of allowing illegal diversions of surface and underground water of the Rio Grande near the state line.

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10:33am

Tue January 28, 2014
Local and State News

Governor Signs Bill To Finance Legislative Session

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has signed a measure into law to provide more than $5 million for costs of the 30-day legislative session.

The legislation, which is known by lawmakers as the "feed bill," was signed yesterday.

The measure also provides $16 million for the Legislature's year-round operations.

The governor used her line-item veto powers to eliminate a provision that would have provided flexibility to the Legislative Council Service and others, such as the Legislative Finance Committee, to make adjustments within their budgets next year.

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10:31am

Tue January 28, 2014
Local and State News

Albuquerque Reaches Settlement in Police Shooting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The police shooting of an Iraq War veteran in 2010 will cost Albuquerque about $8 million.

The Associated Press reported that a tentative settlement for $7.95 million has been reached with the family of Kenneth Ellis IIII.

A jury reached a $10.3 million verdict in the cast last March, but the city appealed.

City Attorney David Tourek says the settlement is tentative because it requires a judge's approval.

He says it's in the best interest of taxpayers because there could have been attorney fees and interest on top of the jury award.

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11:23am

Mon January 27, 2014
Local and State News

Faculty Morale Called Low At New Mexico Tech

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A longtime faculty professor at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology says the school has run aground, with faculty members leaving amid low morale and disjointed leadership.

Former geophysics professor Richard Aster' resignation letter says there's been a steady erosion of collegiality at the Socorro school known as New Mexico Tech.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico Tech President Daniel Lopez, acknowledges there are morale issues. He blames state budget cuts resulting from the Great Recession.

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11:22am

Mon January 27, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Bill Would Regulate Art Auction Houses

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill introduced in the New Mexico Legislature would impose government oversight of art auction houses and change the way some do business.

Sen. Tim Keller says his bill is a response to reports of questionable auction practices that distort prices for expensive pieces of art.

Keller's bill would authorize the Attorney General's Office to regulate art auctions and act on consumer complaints. It also mandates certain disclosures, such as minimum prices.

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11:21am

Mon January 27, 2014
Local and State News

El Paso Woman Dies in New Mexico Skiing Accident

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — A 23-year-old Texas woman is dead as a result of a skiing accident in southern New Mexico.

Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd says 23-year-old Jackueline Caballero of El Paso died Saturday afternoon when she lost control and struck a tree while on an intermediate slope at Ski Apache near Ruidoso.

Shepperd says the state medical investigator will determine the exact cause of death.

11:20am

Mon January 27, 2014
Local and State News

Colo. Teens Visit NM Students After School Gunfire

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Students from a Colorado high school who experienced a recent school shooting have visited a New Mexico middle school where a 12-year-old recently opened fire.

The Roswell Daily Record reports students from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., traveled to Roswell on Saturday to talk to Berrendo Middle School students about coping with the shooting.

Arapahoe saw its own school shooting Dec. 13, when senior Karl Pierson shot student Claire Davis and killed her, before turning the gun on himself.

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